Words by Dr Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist
The desire for good skin is hardly new and as the information era grows we are becoming much more educated on what our skin needs to look its best. This isn’t about achieving perfection, but doing what one can to live in the best version of their own skin. We have never been more spoilt for choice in terms of products and routines, but how do we make sure we are making smart choices when we invest in new skincare?
Good skincare isn’t simply about picking the right product to treat a concern; it is also about preventing or delaying problems before they occur. This can be achieved not only by ensuring the right ingredients in effective concentrations are found in your skincare, but also ensuring appropriate formulation with synergistic combinations that can tackle multiple issues.
For many of us, the end goal is to slow down the signs we often association with premature skin ageing. Think fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Many of these changes occur due to the direct effects of ultraviolet light from the sun and a variety of well-studied ingredients found in our skincare have been shown to limit or prevent damage from this.
One of the most popular ingredients which has repeatedly shown benefit to the skin in clinical trials is the Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, Glycolic Acid. It is a firm favourite with dermatologists for its numerous uses across skin of all colours.
Glycolic Acid is an effective chemical exfoliating agent, which is able to remove the upper layer of dead skin cells resulting in improved skin texture. Regular use can reveal a brighter, glowing complexion as well as improvement in skin tone and discolouration. Aside from the visible, surface difference it can make, Glycolic Acid has also been shown to improve cell turnover in the deeper layers of the skin. It can help boost Collagen, the main protein which gives our skin its support and structure, alongside improving the quality of the elastic fibres in the skin.
Combining Glycolic Acid with Vitamin A
Combining Glycolic Acid with other efficacious ingredients into one product is an intelligent way of reducing spend, limiting the need to layer multiple agents into your routine (which can risk unnecessary irritation), focusing on sustainability and cutting waste, whilst still getting the best outcome for your skin. So how can this be done safely?
Using Glycolic Acid with the many forms of Vitamin A is one such way. Glycolic Acid will exfoliate the skin resulting in better penetration of Retinoid or Vitamin A ingredients, including next-generation active Hydoxypinacolone Retinoate (Granactive Retinoid). Historically, it has been well-recognised that Vitamin A agents are able to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help with skin damage related to the sun. However, many Vitamin A containing products have been associated with skin irritation and instability when exposed to sunlight (i.e. they break down quickly and are rendered ineffective). However, using new generation synthetic retinoids such as Granactive Retinoid can reduce irritation potential resulting in a gentle, safe and effective product when combined with Glycolic Acid.
Whilst most people can benefit from having an effective Glycolic Acid and Vitamin A in their skincare regime, there are also some additional agents to look out for. These include antioxidants such as Ferulic Acid to help reduce damage to skin cells from harmful molecules known as free radicals found in sunlight and pollution, as well as Peptides which can help boost Collagen.
Regular and consistent use of products which provide these key types of scientifically researched ingredients will help to protect the skin, improve it’s overall appearance, as well as reduce the signs of premature skin ageing allowing you to have a better skin day.
Our latest innovation Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum combines Glycolic Acid with Granactive Retinoid, Ferulic Acid and Peptides.
About Dr Anjali
Dr Anjali Mahto is one of the UK’s leading consultant dermatologists who has worked in both the UK public healthcare sector and private clinics. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, member of the Royal Society of Medicine and a spokesperson for The British Skin Foundation. Anjali now practises in London’s Harley Street where she treats patients with diverse skin concerns, helping them to create clinically-informed solutions based on a holistic approach to quality skincare and lifestyle. Anjali has a particular interest in acne and acne scarring, having experienced with her own skin issues from a young age. Anjali is a regular press contributor and widely recognised for her unique skincare ethos, which bridges the gap between traditional medical dermatology, beauty and cosmetic medicine. This philosophy, along with her passion for truly effective ingredients and her years of extensive, hands-on clinical experience are all captured in her book The Skincare Bible – a skincare guide which aims to help the modern consumer navigate the skincare industry to find the best and most effective solutions built from products and routines which work to deliver clinically proven results.